Thursday, 18 January 2018 00:54

Monash Uni, Indra partner on campus sustainable electricity project

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Monash Uni, Indra partner on campus sustainable electricity project Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Monash University has selected global IT consulting company Indra as a partner in a project to establish a sustainable electricity Microgrid at its Clayton campus in Melbourne.

Under the project, the existing Microgrid infrastructure, already incorporating one megawatt of roof-top solar generation capacity, will be extended by another three megawatts by the end of 2018. One megawatt hour of storage capacity will also be added.

By 2020, the university expects to be generating seven gigawatt hours of electricity, sufficient to power 1000 homes for a year.

The Microgrid is the InGRID.AGM software platform from Indra which will monitor and process power system operations across the grid through a combination of intelligent processing nodes at the edge of the network and a centralised analytics engine. The nodes use powerful Intel processors over which Indra has developed its InGRID.AGM IoT solution for utilities.

"The ability to have real-time monitoring and management is a critical part of Monash University’s vision that the Microgrid will become a centrepiece for research and industry engagement, focused on meeting the new needs of the energy sector," said Monash University Net Zero Program director, Tony Fullelove.

"By managing the Clayton campus energy demands and providing ancillary services to the Victorian power grid, the Monash Microgrid will provide a real-world example of how Victoria can keep its energy system affordable and resilient, particularly during peak periods and extreme weather events, while rapidly transitioning the state to a low carbon economy."

Indra Energy solutions manager Giovanni Polizzi said effective monitoring and management of energy systems and loads at a network and customer premise level was a key challenge for the Australian electricity sector.

And, according to Polizzi, the Microgrid, supported by the Indra InGRID.AGM platform, would showcase how these challenges can be overcome.

"By operating in a real-world environment, the Microgrid will help to provide a clearer understanding of how the energy industry can manage networks with consumer-connected generation, storage and smart technologies," he said. "This partnership brings together an acute understanding of the Australian energy market, a world-leading technology provider and cutting-edge implementation and research.”

To achieve its net zero target, Monash has committed to spend $135 million on energy transformation over the next 13 years.  This will cover energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting, campus electrification, on-site renewable energy and purchase agreements for off-site renewable energy.

The resulting energy savings are expected to to be worth $15 million a year by 2028.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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